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Mr. Collins: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many DEFRA personnel (a) are working for all or most of the time in south Cumbria and (b) are based there. 
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Mr. Morley [holding answer 23 October 2001]: There are currently 64 DEFRA staff based at the south Cumbria forward station at Milnthorpe consisting of TVIs, lay blood samplers and administrative staff. In addition, there are 12 field staff assigned to a forward station in Appleby. Both the Milnthorpe and Appleby staff work exclusively in south Cumbria.
Other veterinary surgeons and specialist staff are based at Carlisle. They carry out the risk assessments relating to animal movements within the Restricted Infected Area or within 3 km Protection Zones. They are also assigned to other tasks on a daily basis depending on where, in the county, there is a demand for specialist input.
Mr. Collins: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will review the case for sending only locally based DEFRA personnel and vehicles to farms in south Cumbria; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 23 October 2001]: Staff involved in the collection of samples that are needed to facilitate movements of sheep in south Cumbria are based at a work allocation station in Milnthorpe. Other specialist work, such as the risk assessment of animal movements, within the Penrith Restricted Infected Area, is carried out by specialists based in Carlisle.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many contractors have waited in excess of three months for payments due to them for work carried out on foot and mouth eradication. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 22 October 2001]: Between 1 April and 30 September 2001, the Department made payments to 7,257 suppliers of foot and mouth related services, in respect of 91,418 invoices. During this time, 214 suppliers had to wait more than 90 days in respect of 916 invoices. 82 per cent. of all payments were made within 30 days of receipt of a valid invoice.
Mr. Collins: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will grant greater autonomy to DEFRA officials dealing with foot and mouth outbreaks and livestock movements in south Cumbria in order to speed up decisions; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 18 October 2001]: National and European Community law requires that certain decisions relating to foot and mouth disease must be taken by the Chief Veterinary Officer and, in light of this accountability, it is not possible to delegate all the decision making entirely to the regions.
David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs since 7 June how many holdings in Cumbria have had animals slaughtered because of foot and mouth disease, broken down by (a) IPs, (c) DCs and (c) other. 
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|Infected Premises (IPs)||164|
|Dangerous Contacts (DCs)||374|
|Other (Slaughter on suspicion)||8|
These data were extracted from DEFRA's disease control system (DCS) database on 31 October 2001 at 15.45. The figures may be subject to some change as quality assurance of data on DCS is carried out
We are consulting on the Energy Efficiency Commitment for 200205, which will place an obligation on gas and electricity suppliers to make energy efficiency improvements, through measures provided to their domestic consumers.
The Department provides the Energy Saving Trust and the Carbon Trust with over £65 million of funding in 200102, to support their work of promoting energy efficiency in the domestic and non-domestic sectors of the economy.
Ms Drown: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the joint public statement made on 30 July by the French and German Agriculture Ministers on the future direction of the Common Agricultural Policy; and if she will place an English version of the statement in the Library. 
Mr. Morley: On 30 July, French and German media published an article reporting an agreed statement by the French and German Governments on the Common Agricultural Policy. This is an interesting document which recognises the need for further reform and in many ways covers similar themes to those put forward by the United Kingdom Government. We continue to work closely with the French and German Governments and with other member states in developing ideas for reform of the Common Agricultural Policy.
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Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment her Department has made of the implications in England and Wales of the European Water Framework Directive; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher: The implications of the directive are set out in the regulatory impact assessment (RIA) included in the "First Consultation Paper on the Implementation of the EC Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC)", which was published jointly by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions and the National Assembly for Wales in March this year. A copy of the consultation paper is in the House of Commons Library.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make it her policy to allow local authorities to determine byelaws banning dogs from public places without reference to her Department; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher: Local authorities have to apply to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, who determines byelaws on the grounds of whether they are reasonable, both to members of the public and to dog owners. A byelaw is a local law, which is made by a statutory body, such as a local authority, under an enabling power established by Act of Parliament. Byelaws create criminal offences and cannot come into effect unless they have been confirmed by a Secretary of State. There are no plans to change this policy.
Mr. Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assistance and opportunities exist for farmers to diversify their land use towards growing crops for the production of energy from biomass. 
Mr. Meacher: The Energy Crops Scheme, part of the England Rural Development Programme, makes £29 million of assistance available to farmers over seven years. This includes establishment grants for short rotation coppice and miscanthus and up to 50 per cent. of set-up costs for short rotation coppice growers forming producer groups. In addition, farmers may benefit from planting grants under the Woodland Grant Scheme and the Farm Woodlands Premium Scheme, and woodland maintenance grants under the WGS. We are working closely with Government Departments and other bodies to develop market opportunities for biomass in power generation, combined heat and power and heat applications.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department has taken to monitor the safety of waste disposed of by London Waste; and if she will make a statement on the toxicity of this waste. 
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(APC) residues which are classified as hazardous and are disposed of separately and safely to appropriately licensed landfill sites.
As a result of recent concerns about the use of ash from the Edmonton incinerator, the Environment Agency is carrying out a thorough investigation into the destinations of ash from all municipal waste incinerators, the environmental implications of its use and what steps may be needed in the light of these findings. The results of the Environment Agency's investigations will be made public.
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